The online digital marketplace for music has proven to be extremely significant with regards to the wider creative economy in two key respects. First, the online sharing of music in digital formats has been at the leading edge of debates around intellectual property rights issues. The way in which the music industry has responded to the threats of digital piracy has set a precedent for the wider creative economy. Second, the technologies with which music is being distributed and consumed online are dynamic and changing rapidly, as, perhaps even more significantly, are consumer preferences. Again, this places the digital marketplace for music at the forefront of developments in the creative economy.
The overall aim of the report is to undertake a survey of the contemporary online digital marketplace for music. This is a necessary and important task given that a) the very recent consumer preference for streaming content has rendered many recent academic and industry studies of online music already outdated; and b) business strategies and models in the music industry have had to adapt accordingly.
Dr Allan Watson, Staffordshire University